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The Grazia Guide To Melbourne

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Why Australia’s second city is more than just Ramsey Street and Dr Karl Kennedy

You’re either a Sydney kind of person, or a Melbourne kind of person, as any Aussie or ex-pat will tell you. While Australia’s most populous city is famous for its scorching climate, plethora of beaches and iconic sights (hello, Sydney Opera House, hi Harbour Bridge), its second biggest is known for its more European sensibility, with the coffee culture, foodie scene, varied climate and architecture that goes with it. Voted the world’s most liveable city seven years in a row, it boasts an easy-to-use public transport system, with free tram travel within the central business district (CBD), a varied landscape, with the lush Botanical Gardens, Yarra River and St Kilda Beach, and a new restaurant seemingly opening every week. It’s just as good if you’re a tourist, too, with endless free public Wi-Fi hotspots, visitor centres in every district and countless attractions to enjoy, from seeing an Aussie Rules game at the world-famous MCG, to taking in an exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. Sure, Sydney may be flashy, but Melbourne might have more depth.

How To Get There

We began our Aussie adventure in the most comfortable manner possible: at the Emirates Lounge at Heathrow Airport. If you’re a nervous flier, there’s really nothing better to get you in the zone than kicking back in the lounge with a glass (or two) of champagne and grabbing a bite to eat before embarking on your journey. On the return trip, we had a longer layover in Dubai, so made full use of the Business Lounge there, having a much-needed shower (there are towels, toiletries, hairdryers - and even combs and razors - provided) plus endless coffees and even a smoked salmon bagel. The flights themselves surprisingly flew by (excuse the pun), despite getting less sleep than anticipated purely due to the high quality of films available to watch on board - hello, Oscar season movies! After watching Shape of Water, Get Out and Three Billboards, we managed a little shut-eye, facilitated by a hearty meal, served on real crockery (makes all the difference) and glass of red (not to mention the handy eye mask and earplugs provided). Meal choices were ambitious for an airplane, with the lamb sausages and mashed potato being a particular hit, and the mid-flight snack of cheese and spinach pide, a kind of Turkish flatbread, going down a treat. Arriving in Melbourne seemingly in the blink of an eye later, we were thankful we had opted for Emirates (and the toothbrush kit).

Fly to Melbourne from London Heathrow with Emirates from £709 return. Visit emirates.com to book. For more information on everything here and to book trips and tickets, please visit visitmelbourne.com